Tension mounts in NASS leadership race as Yari, Kalu, G-6 reject Tinubu’s invitation to step down

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Some aspirants for various leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly refused invitations from individuals claiming to represent President-elect Bola Tinubu, escalating political tensions.

According to a source close to one of the Senate candidates, the aspirants received a request for a meeting at a prestigious hotel in Abuja on Saturday evening.

Abdulaziz Yari and Orji Uzor Kalu are the frontrunners for the Senate presidency, while the G-6 Aspirants Forum, comprised of Idris Wase, Aliyu Betara, Sani Jaji, Sada Soli, Ahmed Gagdi, and Mariam Onuoha, is vying for the speakership.

After consulting among themselves, the aspirants unanimously rejected the scheduled meeting for Sunday (yesterday) at 8 p.m.

They, on the other hand, preferred to meet with the president-elect one-on-one in order to have more meaningful discussions, citing the unpredictable nature of politics.

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“In politics, anything can happen,” the source said. You can’t rule out surprises, so after consulting with one another, they all declined, insisting on meeting the president-elect one on one for meaningful engagement.”

Meanwhile, this newspaper has learned that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila is preparing to present lawmakers-elect’s endorsements to the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s National Working Committee (NWC) in support of Tajudeen Abbas for the position of speaker.
Despite his initial denials, Gbajabiamila confirmed his support for Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, respectively.

“Good morning, honorable members,” said a message sent to members of the Unity Group. Please accompany Tajudeen Abass to a meeting with the APC’s national chairman and members of the National Working Committee, NWC, on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at the party secretariat. The time is 2 p.m. Members should meet at the Stratton Hotel by noon. Thank you very much, and God bless.”

A returning lawmaker from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed confidence in Abbas’ ability to gather sufficient support, Vanguard reports, confirming that the speaker would lead Abbas and a group of lawmakers to the APC national headquarters on Tuesday.

Concerns were raised, however, about other disgruntled APC candidates’ lack of comprehension.

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“It is true that we are meeting the APC’s NWC on Tuesday,” the source said. Although some of us are not members of their party, we support the choice made by the outgoing speaker. He would lead our team to a meeting with the APC’s national leadership. We are confident of forming a majority to elect Abbas as speaker as of today. We only ask that other APC candidates be understanding, as the APC may suffer if they do not cooperate.”


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